Chairman of the British Transport Police Federation
Nigel posts regular blog comments of issues of importance to policing and the BTPF in particular.
BTP Federation Blog: Update from Force Conference
The Federation met with the Police Authority on 7 October 2016 to discuss a failure to agree around the force interpretation of Regulation 34 of the Police Regulations 2003 (Annex U -Allowances) 'Away from Home Overnight Allowance'.
Our position is that the force interpretation of the allowance is detrimental to our members and the application of the policy is not correct. As a result, our members are suffering a financial detriment when working away from home overnight and having legitimate claims for the allowance declined.
We have legal advice which challenges the force position on the allowance and these arguments were made to the Police Authority as part of our submissions.
The Police Authority are currently reviewing the submissions put forward by the Federation and will be seeking their own legal advice. They have agreed a date of the 25th November 2016 to meet with us to conclude this matter.
The second part of the meeting focused on the current sickness policy. While it is accepted that the force has to have a sickness policy, we believe that as part of that policy there has to be an 'Ill Health Dismissal' process to manage officers who can no longer perform the role of Constable. Where there is not a reasonable adjustment possible into a police officer role, the current use of Unsatisfactory Performance to deal with those officers is wholly wrong.
The Police Authority agreed with our submission and the force has drafted a new policy which will be shared with the Federation at the national negotiation meeting on the 14th October 2016.
Terms and conditions, and pay
The pay uplift of 1% for all police officers has been agreed with the Police Authority and we await confirmation of the payment date.
We also took the opportunity to remind the force that in respect of the BEAR Holiday pay judgement from Scotland, all Inspecting ranks are also entitled to this pay as they are in receipt of certain allowances paid under that judgement. The force position of only making payments to Constables and Sergeants is wrong and they have agreed to bring this to the negotiation meeting on the 14th October 2016.
As part of a wider discussion we raised the issue of 'Terms and Conditions' for police officers within the BTP. This relates to the application of police regulations by the force and our belief that there are a number of inconsistencies around how this is being applied and where officers stand in respect of whether it is police regulations or a standard operating procedure adopted by the force.
It is the belief of this Federation that the uncertainty created by this inconsistent approach to regulations and the status of officers within the BTP is having a negative impact on officers. The BTPA has agreed to publish a full breakdown of officer Terms and Conditions and will make them available to all officers.
Having this publication will provide clarity for officers around what the BTP are using to make decisions or indeed create policy. If the application of either a SOP or Regulations is being used incorrectly by the force, then the publication of these terms and conditions will allow for legitimate challenges to that application.
As a final note the public consultation on the Crime Review has been published today (12 October 2016) and we urge to respond to it.
You are uniquely placed to share your views on what works (and doesn't work) and give your thoughts on internal processes, such as the allocation of crimes to ensure victims remain at the heart of what we do. That insight is vital to this consultation process.
We would also urge you to engage fully with both the briefings and one to one consultations around proposed rosters. The consultation period is your opportunity to give your feedback and make suggestions/counter proposals. Briefings will take place next month and we are awaiting further information on the timetable for this as well as the mechanism for collecting and evaluating your feedback.
If you have any concerns or queries about the process, please make contact with your local federation rep who in turn can keep us informed.
Darren Townsend BSc (Hons)